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Recent Developments in Tort Litigation

About the course

Date of Event: Saturday, 20 July 2019
Time: 9.00 am - 1.15 pm
CPD Hours/Points: 3.5
Venue: Joly Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin

2019 is already an important year in the history of tort litigation, with the principles of liability coming under the critical attention of politicians and the media. By no means all of the criticisms are accurate, as practitioners are well aware. The conference on Recent Developments in Tort Litigation, to be held by the Law School of Trinity College Dublin on the morning of Saturday the 20th of July will closely analyse all significant decisions of the courts. They include, not only Morrissey v Minister for Health and Children [2019] IEHC 268, but also important other judgments dealing with the assessment of general damages, employers’ liability, occupiers’ liability, professional negligence and new approaches to medical negligence litigation and the Court of Appeal on the assessment of damages for Defamation. There has also been much discussion of Twomey J's decision in Defender Ltd v HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Ireland) Ltd [2018] IEHC 706 on the implications of settlement with concurrent wrongdoers.

The speakers are experts in their areas and there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Questions to be discussed include:

  • In O'Grady v Abbott Ireland [2019] IEHC 79, how did Creedon J determine the question whether section 11 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Safety) Regulations 2007 imposes an absolute duty on employers?
  • In Kielthy v Minister for Agriculture [2019] IEHC 163, how did a claim alleging the negligent failure by the Department to issue a correct certificate of registration for a vessel and negligent misstatement fare?
  • In BD v Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform [2019] IEHC 173, what did Barton J have to say on the differences between "cap" and "non-cap" cases when awarding general damages?
  • What guidance has the Court of Appeal given on damages in defamation claim in Kinsella v Kenmare Resources Plc [2019] IECA 54 and Nolan v Sunday Newspapers Ltd trading as Sunday World [2019] IECA 141?
  • What key issues of law did Cross J determine in Morrissey v HSE [2019] IEHC 268?
  • How did Barton J determine an employer's duties at common law and under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to protect employees against the risk of being assaulted in Douglas v Michael Guiney Ltd [2019] IEHC 301?
  • What did Twomey J have to say on the potential liability of employers who are injured when working under time pressures in Donnelly v Dunnes Stores [2019] IEHC 347?
  • In Greene v Dunnes Stores [2019] IECA 115, why did the Court of Appeal reverse a High Court finding of liability against an employer?
  • How did the Court of Appeal deal with an appeal against a damages award on the basis that it was too low in Rowley v Budget Travel Ltd (In Liquidation) [2019] IECA 265?
  • In Treacy v Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform [2019] IEHC 62, how did O'Connor J respond to Twomey J’s in Kampff v Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform [2019] IRHC 371 when applying the Sinnott v Quinnsworth test for determining general damages?
  • What did the Supreme Court have to say in Jeffrey v Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence [2019] IESC 27 on the possibility of framing an action in Negligent Misstatement where, if framed as Defamation, it would be met with a defence of immunity?
  • In Barlow v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources [2019] IEHC 416, what was the impact of the Supreme Court’s Cromane decision on the issue of duty of care?
  • How was the plaintiff’s claim under section 3(1) of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 resolved in Larkin v Carlingford Community Development Company [2019] IEHC 329?
  • In Gilroy v O’Leary [2019] IEHC 52, how did Allen J interpret section 22 of the Defamation Act 2009 in the context of a claim for injunctive relief?
  • How was the issue of exemplary damages resolved in Bowes v McSherry [2019] IEHC 115?
  • In the light of the Court of Appeal decision in Camiveo Ltd v Dunnes Stores [2019] IECA 138, what is the present status in Ireland of the tort of causing economic loss through unlawful means?
  • How did Barniville J in O’Riordan v Clare County Council [2019] IEHC 330 resolve issues relating to misfeasance/non-feasance, public nuisance on the highway and occupiers’ liability?
  • What did McGrath J decide in relation to the question of the determination of a preliminary issue in a claim for nervous shock in Keane v Health Service Executive [2019] IEHC 370?


9.00 Registration
9.30 Expert evidence in professional negligence litigation: recent developments - Dr. Ciaran Craven SC
10.00 Employers' liability: update on key developments - Dr. Desmond Ryan BL
10.30 Identification of plaintiffs with concurrent wrongdoers after Defender v HSBC - Deirdre Ní Fhloinn
11.00 Tea/Coffee Break
11.15 Recent developments on the assessment of damages for personal injuries: proportionality and "the Cap" - Dr. Val Corbett
11.45 New options in medical negligence litigation - Dr. Mary Tumelty
12.15 The duty of care, claims against public authorities, occupiers' liability and defamation - William Binchy BL
12.45-1.15 Questions and discussion

The right to substitute lecturers/lectures is reserved.

Chair and Speakers

Chair: The Hon. Mr. Justice Liam McKechnie, Judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland

William Binchy BL is a practising barrister, lecturing on the LLM programme at Trinity College Dublin and co-author of McMahon and Binchy's Law of Torts (4th ed., 2013).

Dr Val Corbett is Head of Programmes at Law He is co-author of Employment Law in Ireland (2009) and co-editor of the Tort Law and Litigation Review.

Ciaran Craven SC is a Senior Counsel. He is co-author of Psychiatry and the Law (2nd ed. 2010) and books tort litigation and medical negligence litigation.

Deirdre Ni Fhloinn BL is a practising barrister. She previously practised as a solicitor at Reddy Charlton Solicitors and at London Underground, advising on contracting arrangements for building and engineering projects. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Construction Law and Contract Administration from Trinity College and an MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution from King’s College, London, and lectures on both programmes in her areas of research. She is close to completion of her PhD at Trinity College on the subject of legal remedies for defective housing.

Des Ryan B.L. is an Associate Professor and Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, a practising barrister specialising in Employment Law, and a CEDR-accredited Mediator. Des appears regularly before the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court, as well as before the Superior Courts. Des has contributed to a number of publications concerning Employment Law and is the author of the new edition of Redmond on Dismissal Law (2017) as well as the co-author of the textbook Employment Law in Ireland (2009). He gives CPD lectures regularly to colleagues in both the solicitors’ and barristers’ profession, to the judiciary, and to Human Resources professionals.

Dr Mary Tumelty is a lecturer in the School of Law, University College Cork. As Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, she collaborated with colleagues in the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland to investigate the existence and extent of defensive medical practices among surgeons. Dr Tumelty has also acted as a research consultant to the Quality and Improvement Division, Health Service Executive. She recently completed a certificate in Advanced Mediation at Harvard University. Her work has been funded by the Irish Research Council.

The right to substitute lecturers/lectures is reserved.

Reservations and Fees

  • Fees:
    • €180 for 1
  • Group Rates:
    • €320 for 2; €460 for 3; €575 for 4 and €675 for 5.
  • Reduced Rates:
    • €140 for TCD Alumni or members of the TCD Law School CPD programme; €160 for members of the Bar called within the past 5 years.

    Fees are inclusive of tea/coffee break and conference papers.


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    School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, House 39, New Square, Dublin 2.